By Jude Haddad
Choosing International Baccalaureate (IB) courses can be a stressful decision for incoming eleventh-graders. If you would like some insight from current Junior and Senior IB Diploma candidates, the Pawprint has compiled a list of pertinent advice below. However, if you would prefer to listen to a podcast with the DAA IB coordinator, CAS coordinator and high school counsellor – the podcast is linked at the end of the article.
Do not take a course you are not interested in
To obtain a IB Diploma, you must take three subjects at the higher level (HL), and three at a standard level (SL). IB courses last for two years, and HL classes require a lot of hours of work and dedication – including (at times) an extra examination at the end of the two years. Therefore, you must be really interested in the classes you are choosing so that studying will be easier and more enjoyable. Although your interests may change throughout the two years, being confident in your initial course choices will help in motivating you to work harder.
There are a few things you may want to research before making your final decisions. Firstly, it is crucial to research course requirements for certain universities – or countries you are thinking of attending university in. A university in the United Kingdom (UK) may require higher level math for an engineering major whilst a university in the United States (US) may not. Therefore, depending on where you want to attend university – your course selection will differ. Furthermore, some universities will not accept certain courses – such as Math Studies – so you should be aware of their preferences. Moreover, you may want to research the syllabus of a certain IB course to help you understand what you will be learning over the next two years and decide if that is something you want to commit to. Talking to current DAA IB teachers and students taking certain courses will help as well.
Don’t feel pressured by your peers
Although you may be aware of the certain stereotypes and reputation a class has – do not let those discourage you from taking the course. Everyone has different interests and requirements, so if you do not need to take a class at a higher level – do not do it!
Know that full IB isn’t the only option
Although many students at DAA are diploma candidates – there is no requirement for you to take six IB classes. Also, Advanced Placement (AP) classes are set to be offered at DAA next year – meaning that there more options for you to choose from. Once again, depending on where you want to apply – certain courses may be more useful and applicable to a larger multitude of places.
Regardless of what courses you choose – make sure to be interested in the courses you are choosing in order to ensure the best results, and good luck!